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Roon vs HQPlayer vs A+ vs Amarra vs JRiver sound quality?


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Want to start this thread to get impressions of Roon sound quality vs all other players.

 

I have just moved apartments so my reference points are completely shattered plus my system is not fully tuned just yet in the new space, so I don't feel I can make a good assessment myself yet.

 

I will likely make Roon my player - I am very impressed with the functionality so far, it really does make me enjoy music more.

 

Opinions? Gripes?

 

Thx!

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

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Want to start this thread to get impressions of Roon sound quality vs all other players.

 

I have just moved apartments so my reference points are completely shattered plus my system is not fully tuned just yet in the new space, so I don't feel I can make a good assessment myself yet.

 

I will likely make Roon my player - I am very impressed with the functionality so far, it really does make me enjoy music more.

 

Opinions? Gripes?

 

Thx!

Nada de nada? Ufff...

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

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I've asked a similar question with no reply. I think it comes down to features necessary for what your trying to do and what works. With all the changes that can be made to optimize the computer end of the digital stream, media player SQ for streaming has become a less concerned feature that is very subjective but specific on format features and tagging. Plus some of the newer media players have a ways to go in development so ones operating skills come into play. As we get further along in the next year or two, I'm sure it will become clearer what works best for SQ, tagging, features needed. Thus I'm holding off on any media player changes and stick with JRiver (since I already know it so well, have paid for it and it does what I need for my current DAC), meanwhile concentrating on optimizing my PC for better SQ.

Also while improving my hardware SQ, I may find that the different available media streamers SQ changes in comparison and thus features are more important.

(JRiver) Jetway barebones NUC (mod 3 sCLK-EX, Cybershaft OP 14)  (PH SR7) => mini pcie adapter to PCIe 1X => tXUSBexp PCIe card (mod sCLK-EX) (PH SR7) => (USPCB) Chord DAVE => Omega Super 8XRS/REL t5i  (All powered thru Topaz Isolation Transformer)

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I've asked a similar question with no reply. I think it comes down to features necessary for what your trying to do and what works. With all the changes that can be made to optimize the computer end of the digital stream, media player SQ for streaming has become a less concerned feature

When playing a local file, Roon is not "streaming" - that's the comparison I am interested in.

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

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When playing a local file, Roon is not "streaming" - that's the comparison I am interested in.

 

You lost me. Your streaming that local digital file from Roon to your DAC, are you not?

(JRiver) Jetway barebones NUC (mod 3 sCLK-EX, Cybershaft OP 14)  (PH SR7) => mini pcie adapter to PCIe 1X => tXUSBexp PCIe card (mod sCLK-EX) (PH SR7) => (USPCB) Chord DAVE => Omega Super 8XRS/REL t5i  (All powered thru Topaz Isolation Transformer)

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You lost me. Your streaming that local file from Roon to your DAC, are you not?

disk=>mac mini=>DAC's USB input. I wouldn't call that "streaming". With this chain, just about anyone can hear differences in sound quality between the players mentioned in the subject - that's the comparison I am seeking.

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

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disk=>mac mini=>DAC's USB input. I wouldn't call that "streaming". With this chain, just about anyone can hear differences in sound quality between the players mentioned in the subject - that's the comparison I am seeking.

What do you call it?

Not everyone is using the same optimized digital chain, with the same needed output to the DAC, that is my point to their being a lack of general feedback. Guess if you wanted answers specific to your chain and optimization you would need to be more specific in the title of your thread. Good luck, I'm out of here.

(JRiver) Jetway barebones NUC (mod 3 sCLK-EX, Cybershaft OP 14)  (PH SR7) => mini pcie adapter to PCIe 1X => tXUSBexp PCIe card (mod sCLK-EX) (PH SR7) => (USPCB) Chord DAVE => Omega Super 8XRS/REL t5i  (All powered thru Topaz Isolation Transformer)

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What do you call it?

Not everyone is using the same optimized digital chain, with the same needed output to the DAC, that is my point to their being a lack of general feedback. Guess if you wanted answers specific to your chain and optimization you would need to be more specific in the title of your thread. Good luck, I'm out of here.

Rightly or wrongly, I call audio "streaming" when the source file is not local to my network, like in the case of TIDAL, Spotify, etc.

 

Given an unchanged audio chain, the question of whether those different players sound different is a well defined question - sometimes with a subjective answer relating to taste, etc. The fact that the hardware chain can be improved doesn't invalidate the relative comparisons. Moreover, some audio chains might make the differences bigger or smaller.

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

Link to comment

I'll give this a try based purely on my own experiences (not ABT or other scientific test worthy), just what I hear. First, I had already separately formed the following preference order: HQPlayer>Aurdirvana>Amarra>JRiver. In the case of both A+ and HQPlayer I'm using upsampling and filter choices developed over a lot of experimentation, I'm using Amarra and JRiver as they come. When I put Roon into that mix (playing the same files from my MacBook Air through an upTone Regen and then an Oppo BDP-105D into a Bryston SP3 pre/pro with balanced analog bypass), I would put Roon's sound quality right in the middle (not quite as good as HQP or A+ but as good as or slightly better than Amarra and JRiver.

 

What is interesting to me is that Roon (with Tidal integration) gives me the chance to play the same album three ways (i) in high-res straight off the hard drive through USB; (ii) in high-res through ethernet from my server; and (iii) through Tidal in 16/44 streaming. The differences between those three is meaningfully greater than those among the five players with (i)>(ii)>(iii) by a meaningful gap. I'm not sure that if you put any given version of (i), (ii), or (iii) on and asked me to identify whether it was a i, ii or iii that I could reliably do it, but I am beginning to more and more consistently hear certain differences between the three and across many different types of music and (i) always wins in terms of "you are there" realism.

 

As to the differences between USB and Ethernet, I'm not sure if that is due to my network, my Ethernet cables, or my DAC's treatment of the two, but it probably deserves more work to see if I can equalize between Ethernet and USB. As to the difference between streaming 16/44 over Tidal and playing 16/44 material through Ethernet streaming from my server, I again hear clear differences, as I do between the 16/44 Ethernet and 16/44 uprezzed through HQP/A+/iZotope and USB combo. Again 16/44 files uprezzed through HQP/A+ win by a big margin.

 

Separately, there is the usability of Roon as a front end/interface. In the early days I kept buying JRiver because it did that better than HQP or A+. With Roon, I stopped using JRiver. Because the sound quality is pretty close, there are some days where I just want to explore my music and Roon wins hands down for that (although the brand new A+ remote app for my iPad suddenly makes it a big contender for couch music surfing).

 

As I said, those are just my personal experiences.

Synology NAS>i7-6700/32GB/NVIDIA QUADRO P4000 Win10>Qobuz+Tidal>Roon>HQPlayer>DSD512> Fiber Switch>Ultrarendu (NAA)>Holo Audio May KTE DAC> Bryston SP3 pre>Levinson No. 432 amps>Magnepan (MG20.1x2, CCR and MMC2x6)

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I've asked a similar question with no reply. I think it comes down to features necessary for what your trying to do and what works. With all the changes that can be made to optimize the computer end of the digital stream, media player SQ for streaming has become a less concerned feature that is very subjective but specific on format features and tagging. Plus some of the newer media players have a ways to go in development so ones operating skills come into play. As we get further along in the next year or two, I'm sure it will become clearer what works best for SQ, tagging, features needed. Thus I'm holding off on any media player changes and stick with JRiver (since I already know it so well, have paid for it and it does what I need for my current DAC), meanwhile concentrating on optimizing my PC for better SQ.

Also while improving my hardware SQ, I may find that the different available media streamers SQ changes in comparison and thus features are more important.

 

Well from my perch, I haven't used Amarra in a long time, so that isn't even on my list. A+ I only use on my headphone setup and found similar to ROON in the same environment. One of the reasons I didn't want to answer was not to start flame wars between MAC and Windows as, IMO, Windows provides better SQ than does Mac, on which Amarra and A+ run and which I no longer use on my main system. HQP, I have only dabbled with but trust those who swear by it and look forward to its implementation with ROON.

 

Now as it pertains to JRiver vs. Roon I use both on my main system, with AO and Fidelizer in Core and find them similar in terms of SQ since the incorporation of ASIO on ROON. If SQ wasn't as good it would be a nonstarter for me. I love ROON and look forward to the direction it is going, can't wait for the incoming upgrades and when HQP gets incorporated, I will have to see how it occurs and make a decision.

 

So the using my headphones setup where I have JRiver (Mac Version), Roon and A+ available I would say Roon, SQ wise has risen to equal either on that setup. The same for ROON vs. JRiver on my Windows Server for my main system.

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I'll give this a try based purely on my own experiences (not ABT or other scientific test worthy), just what I hear. First, I had already separately formed the following preference order: HQPlayer>Aurdirvana>Amarra>JRiver. In the case of both A+ and HQPlayer I'm using upsampling and filter choices developed over a lot of experimentation, I'm using Amarra and JRiver as they come. When I put Roon into that mix (playing the same files from my MacBook Air through an upTone Regen and then an Oppo BDP-105D into a Bryston SP3 pre/pro with balanced analog bypass), I would put Roon's sound quality right in the middle (not quite as good as HQP or A+ but as good as or slightly better than Amarra and JRiver.

 

What is interesting to me is that Roon (with Tidal integration) gives me the chance to play the same album three ways (i) in high-res straight off the hard drive through USB; (ii) in high-res through ethernet from my server; and (iii) through Tidal in 16/44 streaming. The differences between those three is meaningfully greater than those among the five players with (i)>(ii)>(iii) by a meaningful gap. I'm not sure that if you put any given version of (i), (ii), or (iii) on and asked me to identify whether it was a i, ii or iii that I could reliably do it, but I am beginning to more and more consistently hear certain differences between the three and across many different types of music and (i) always wins in terms of "you are there" realism.

 

As to the differences between USB and Ethernet, I'm not sure if that is due to my network, my Ethernet cables, or my DAC's treatment of the two, but it probably deserves more work to see if I can equalize between Ethernet and USB. As to the difference between streaming 16/44 over Tidal and playing 16/44 material through Ethernet streaming from my server, I again hear clear differences, as I do between the 16/44 Ethernet and 16/44 uprezzed through HQP/A+/iZotope and USB combo. Again 16/44 files uprezzed through HQP/A+ win by a big margin.

 

Separately, there is the usability of Roon as a front end/interface. In the early days I kept buying JRiver because it did that better than HQP or A+. With Roon, I stopped using JRiver. Because the sound quality is pretty close, there are some days where I just want to explore my music and Roon wins hands down for that (although the brand new A+ remote app for my iPad suddenly makes it a big contender for couch music surfing).

 

As I said, those are just my personal experiences.

Thank you! My personal experience (aside from Roon which is new to me) are the same.

 

Additionally I would add that, although TIDAL is a great source for discovery and music I might not care to buy, when compared to my own ripped CDs, the rips have a "rock solid" feel and precision to the sound which TIDAL doesn't have.

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

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Well from my perch, I haven't used Amarra in a long time, so that isn't even on my list. A+ I only use on my headphone setup and found similar to ROON in the same environment. One of the reasons I didn't want to answer was not to start flame wars between MAC and Windows as, IMO, Windows provides better SQ than does Mac, on which Amarra and A+ run and which I no longer use on my main system. HQP, I have only dabbled with but trust those who swear by it and look forward to its implementation with ROON.

 

Now as it pertains to JRiver vs. Roon I use both on my main system, with AO and Fidelizer in Core and find them similar in terms of SQ since the incorporation of ASIO on ROON. If SQ wasn't as good it would be a nonstarter for me. I love ROON and look forward to the direction it is going, can't wait for the incoming upgrades and when HQP gets incorporated, I will have to see how it occurs and make a decision.

 

So the using my headphones setup where I have JRiver (Mac Version), Roon and A+ available I would say Roon, SQ wise has risen to equal either on that setup. The same for ROON vs. JRiver on my Windows Server for my main system.

Thx. All good points. What hardware and Windows version are you using on your main system?

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

Link to comment
Rightly or wrongly, I call audio "streaming" when the source file is not local to my network, like in the case of TIDAL, Spotify, etc.

 

Given an unchanged audio chain, the question of whether those different players sound different is a well defined question - sometimes with a subjective answer relating to taste, etc. The fact that the hardware chain can be improved doesn't invalidate the relative comparisons. Moreover, some audio chains might make the differences bigger or smaller.

 

Hello miguelito,

 

I understand the distinction you are making between "streaming" and playing back local files located on a local storage device. Some of us are arbitrary and capricious (smile) when it comes to drawing distinctions. I never argue with perception. Given that I accept your distinction and agree with it, though agreement is highly overrated, I am hesitant to respond given your criteria.

 

If that sounds like, "here we go again", what I mean by that is as follows. I am familiar with your system pictorially. Obviously, I have never heard music played through it or your room's (space) acoustics etc. And I would imagine that when you set up your system in your new space, btw, congratulations, hope the move satisfies your criteria for whatever they are. I imagine the impetus is more than room acoustics.

 

My feedback would not be based on the room acoustics, but primarily on the quality of the sonic signature of the player only. Other matters, room nodes, features offered by roon compared to Amarra Symphony with or without iRC would skew my opinions about the players but NOT the SQ.

 

You may know (or not) that I have been a beta tester for Sonic Studio on a volunteer basis since 2011 based on my enthusiasm for the sonic signature of Amarra Symphony. I also own all the other players except JRMC. That alone should disqualify what I might offer you. I also chose not to upgrade Audirvana Plus to V.2.X. Another disqualification.

 

I do own and regularyly employ Amarra Symphony with iRC (ASwiRC), and recently purchased a life-time license to roon and almost immediately thereafter Dirac Live, full prgram, and HQPlayer since 3.7.0. I understand you are not interested in Pure Music, Decibel, BitPerfect and Fidelia, which I also own.

 

I do not experience any problems with three of the programs you are interested in, ASwiRC, roonwDL, and HQPlayer, other than the limitations of the programs as they are presented in their present state of innovation.

 

If we removed iRC/Dirac Live both from Dirac SE with iRC integrated with Amarra Symphony and licensed from Dirac SE, and confined my distinction to SQ alone, I prefer Amarra Symphony in Playlist mode standalone without iTunes in the mix (versus Amarra/iTunes mode) over HQPlayer and roon only as to prefered SQ.

 

But Amarra Symphony does not play DSD natively. Instead down samples to PCM 352.8. With my Wyred4Sound Dac2 DSDse, used with a Mac Mini and OSX 10.10.4, I am limited to DSD64/128 with roon over DoP. There are no ASIO drivers for W4S Dac2 DSD which are not required for my Dac using OSX. There are ASIO drivers for my Dac but only for Windows OS. I am also not able to play DSD256 natively or DoP wth HQPlayer. Though I have succeeded in playing pre-recorded downloads in DSD 256 for a track or two before, the playback descends into clicks, pops and quavers. DSD 64/128 plays natively and sounds gorgeous with HQPlayer. I give HQPlayer the edge over roon playing DSD64/128.

 

roon taken as a whole program, including UI/UX (user experience), look, feel, graphics, features takes first place. The SQ is highly enjoyable in PCM and DSD but second to ASwiRC as to SQ, and second to HQPlayer as to DSD and upsampling PCM to DSD.

 

I fell in love with roon overall. I doubt any of the other software players will innovate overall to the feature set and presentation of roon. Soon there will be an iOS remote app I will relish. And perhaps an integration with HQPlayer to allow it to play within roon. I doubt Amarra Symphony will be included as a potential player. roon loads and playes gaplessly without any delay, as does HQPlayer. Amarra Symphony plays gaplessly automatically in Playlist mode and with Preload in Amarra/iTunes mode but could take up to a minute to load. If the SQ is the currency and one does not mind the loading time...The only remote available for Amarra Symphony is Apple's Remote App but that requires iTunes integration. This may change for the future of Sonic Studio's Amarra Symphony. The display of meta data is inconsistent with ASwiRC. Nowhere near roon. HQPlayer's library is clumsy. In fact the interface I experience with HQPlayer is a complicated one with peculiarities. I cross my fingers whenever I use HQPlayer. I am sure others have mastered how to navigate with HQPlayer and make things work consistently. When it does work for me, it is highly enjoyable, limitations inherent in my Dac aside.

 

With roon, my experience is unfettered. Everything that is available just works. Innovations are splendid and timely. They aimed to please. The look and feel is incomparable in my opinion. The synergy for the management of my music library of nearly 6000 albums, the information about artists, composers etc is exceptional. I am not aware of any other player that offers what roon has already provided. When I am with roon, in the words of CSNY, I love the one I am with. Even those members who experience problems with ASwiRC and have moved on will acknowledge that the signature sound of Amarra's SQ is exceptional and perhaps, incomparable. But as the sole currency, that alone may not be sufficient to keep one using it exclusively. I find I am spending more time with roon and HQPlayer.

 

I imagine others have reached a similar conclusion about Audirvana Plus V.2X and JRMC. I can not offer any feedback about those players. I am sure other members will fill in what I can not.

 

When you are set up in your new space, it will be interesting to learn what you favor. I wish you good fortune in your new location, with your marvelous system, and my best wishes for the enjoyment of music.

 

Music's the thing; the equipment seduces.

 

Best,

Richard

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Well from my perch, I haven't used Amarra in a long time, so that isn't even on my list. A+ I only use on my headphone setup and found similar to ROON in the same environment. One of the reasons I didn't want to answer was not to start flame wars between MAC and Windows as, IMO, Windows provides better SQ than does Mac, on which Amarra and A+ run and which I no longer use on my main system. HQP, I have only dabbled with but trust those who swear by it and look forward to its implementation with ROON.

 

Now as it pertains to JRiver vs. Roon I use both on my main system, with AO and Fidelizer in Core and find them similar in terms of SQ since the incorporation of ASIO on ROON. If SQ wasn't as good it would be a nonstarter for me. I love ROON and look forward to the direction it is going, can't wait for the incoming upgrades and when HQP gets incorporated, I will have to see how it occurs and make a decision.

 

So the using my headphones setup where I have JRiver (Mac Version), Roon and A+ available I would say Roon, SQ wise has risen to equal either on that setup. The same for ROON vs. JRiver on my Windows Server for my main system.

 

Thanks Priaptor, for you experience. I agree that it will be interesting to see the development of HPQ integrated into Roon. Which would favor them over the others concerning audio SQ/tagging/features. I forgot to mention that promo video playback with the best SQ is a very important feature for me. Thus JRiver is about it in offering this feature. But I could see myself purchasing an additional audio only software if the SQ improvement was significant along with good library integration.

(JRiver) Jetway barebones NUC (mod 3 sCLK-EX, Cybershaft OP 14)  (PH SR7) => mini pcie adapter to PCIe 1X => tXUSBexp PCIe card (mod sCLK-EX) (PH SR7) => (USPCB) Chord DAVE => Omega Super 8XRS/REL t5i  (All powered thru Topaz Isolation Transformer)

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Hello miguelito...

Thx for all the detail!

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

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Although I've tried (and purchased) a lot of Mac playback software, I've settled down with Audirvana Plus for some time now. Personally, I feel pretty strongly that the combination of good SQ (configurable to one's tastes), features, ease of use, and general robustness makes A+ the current best choice on OS X. I have a Roon subscription, and like others here, I'm amazed at how far Roon has advanced in a short time — the UI/UX is, in general, miles ahead of any other playback software I've tried, and while there are still rough spots, there's very indication these will be ironed out. Still and all, I have to give the edge (as of right now) in SQ to A+ … and I haven't had a chance yet to evaluate any improvements that may have come with v2.2 yesterday.

 

That said, if the anticipated integration of Roon and HQPlayer comes to fruition, I think it's quite possible it could be the playback solution everyone dreams of. I've spent a bit of time fooling around with HQP, but I came to the conclusion that grappling with HQP's UI negated any additional satisfaction I'd derive from its SQ advantages. If, however, I could use Roon's UI with HQP providing the playback engine, I'd be willing to struggle with setting up HQP to my satisfaction, so long as I could set it and forget it. I'm very interested to learn the specifics of how the integration will actually work, including how a separate renderer (RoonSpeakers/Roon Remote vs. HQP NAA) might fit into the overall picture.

 

Once everything is spelled out in terms of Roon/HQP integration, I'll certainly re-evaluate, but for now, when I know exactly what I want to listen to, I fire up A+, and when I want to explore/discover, I go with Roon.

 

(All this is my personal opinion. I'll take a cue from Richard and not argue with others' perceptions.)

 

--David

Listening Room: Mac mini (Roon Core) > iMac (HQP) > exaSound PlayPoint (as NAA) > exaSound e32 > W4S STP-SE > Benchmark AHB2 > Wilson Sophia Series 2 (Details)

Office: Mac Pro >  AudioQuest DragonFly Red > JBL LSR305

Mobile: iPhone 6S > AudioQuest DragonFly Black > JH Audio JH5

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Although I've tried (and purchased) a lot of Mac playback software, I've settled down with Audirvana Plus for some time now...

Last time I did some careful comparisons I rated:

DSD: HQP>A+>JRMC

PCM: Amarra~>HQP>A+>JRMC

I would regard generally HQP as the best player overall.

 

Having said all this, for the last 6 months I have been using A+v2 with iTunes simply because I've had it with crap UX's. Yes I can get better sound out of HQP or Amarra but frankly I don't have any patience anymore for terrible user experiences.

 

Roon is fantastic although it is a bit of a killer not to have an iOS app - really guys!!! UX with a screen sharing app is bad. If I had a laptop I would have no issue as I could use Roon in remote mode from my listening seat but I don't have such so I really would like the iOS app.

 

With the release of the A+ iOS remote, I have narrowed down this scope. It's either pure A+ or Roon if I want TIDAL music. That's it. Awesome. If Roon incorporates HQP and gets an iOS app then I'm done.

 

BTW... I own licensees for A+ (1 & 2), Roon (trial so far but I will be a lifer), HQP, Amarra, AmarraSQ, and JRMC (20 & 21) - surely more but I don't even remember. Hahahaha... :)

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

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Roon is fantastic although it is a bit of a killer not to have an iOS app - really guys!!! UX with a screen sharing app is bad. If I had a laptop I would have no issue as I could use Roon in remote mode from my listening seat but I don't have such so I really would like the iOS app.

 

From reading the tea leaves it looks like end of August at the earliest for iOS. You are not alone in waiting.

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You wont be disappointed when the Roon IOS application is released. These guys are really good.

Good to know... You seem to know/have seen something we don't! :P

 

I became a roon lifer yesterday! The music discovery it allows is just incredible. Even from my own library!!!

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

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From reading the tea leaves it looks like end of August at the earliest for iOS. You are not alone in waiting.

That's not much given how patient we all were with A+'s iOS app! And it is really good!

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

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Although I've tried (and purchased) a lot of Mac playback software, I've settled down with Audirvana Plus for some time now. Personally, I feel pretty strongly that the combination of good SQ (configurable to one's tastes), features, ease of use, and general robustness makes A+ the current best choice on OS X. I have a Roon subscription, and like others here, I'm amazed at how far Roon has advanced in a short time — the UI/UX is, in general, miles ahead of any other playback software I've tried, and while there are still rough spots, there's very indication these will be ironed out. Still and all, I have to give the edge (as of right now) in SQ to A+ … and I haven't had a chance yet to evaluate any improvements that may have come with v2.2 yesterday.

 

That said, if the anticipated integration of Roon and HQPlayer comes to fruition, I think it's quite possible it could be the playback solution everyone dreams of. I've spent a bit of time fooling around with HQP, but I came to the conclusion that grappling with HQP's UI negated any additional satisfaction I'd derive from its SQ advantages. If, however, I could use Roon's UI with HQP providing the playback engine, I'd be willing to struggle with setting up HQP to my satisfaction, so long as I could set it and forget it. I'm very interested to learn the specifics of how the integration will actually work, including how a separate renderer (RoonSpeakers/Roon Remote vs. HQP NAA) might fit into the overall picture.

 

Once everything is spelled out in terms of Roon/HQP integration, I'll certainly re-evaluate, but for now, when I know exactly what I want to listen to, I fire up A+, and when I want to explore/discover, I go with Roon.

 

(All this is my personal opinion. I'll take a cue from Richard and not argue with others' perceptions.)

 

--David

Re-read your post. Agree with every single point! The one item you don't mention is TIDAL. A+ is awesome except it has no TIDAL. Roon integrates it in the best possible way.

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

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Re-read your post. Agree with every single point! The one item you don't mention is TIDAL. A+ is awesome except it has no TIDAL. Roon integrates it in the best possible way.

 

Hello miguelito and David,

 

I concur overall. I have assessed the roon does intergrate TIDAL HIFI in the best possible way with or without Dirac Live. I am listening to roon with Dirac Live streaming TIDAL HIFI, Bill Evans, Friends New & Old, (displays at 44.1 on my Dac) and for streaming (not meant as a slight) the quality is very good despite a slight "hiss" as in a tape hiss that I detect. I do not know if that is detectable on other systems. It's not there with roon/Dirac Live playing from my own music library. So it's not as "black" as I would prefer, but still enjoyable for getting acquainted with music I do not yet own as I tend to buy, store, and play albums rather than playlists.

 

I also have been beta testing Amarra For TIDAL now with iRC and have a green light to start a new thread devoted to this very good program. It's a toss up with roon with or without Dirac Live and TIDAL HIFI. I give roon a slight edge. But to quote CSNY, when I am with the one I am with, I love the one I am with (smile).

 

Looking forward to roon's implementation of the iOS remote and if HQPlayer's to be "integrated" as a player, that as well. Despite loving Amarra Symphony with iRC's SQ (UI/UX aside for the moment).

 

Enjoy the music.

Richard

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I concur overall. I have assessed the roon does intergrate TIDAL HIFI in the best possible way with or without Dirac Live. I am listening to roon with Dirac Live streaming TIDAL HIFI, Bill Evans, Friends New & Old, (displays at 44.1 on my Dac) and for streaming (not meant as a slight) the quality is very good despite a slight "hiss" as in a tape hiss that I detect

I wouldn't say I spotted additional hiss (I haven't narrowed it down that much) but I would say that listening to TIDAL streams both over the TIDAL native app (ie TIDAL native app running on my music mini with the DAC selected as USB output) as well as over Roon (not that much testing here yet), I find the TIDAL music more "fuzzy" than my CD rips. There's a "solidity" on the rips played over Roon, A+, HQP, Amarra that is lacking in the TIDAL stream somehow. Hard to exactly pinpoint.

 

I have not had extensive experience with playing TIDAL streams over HQP (it works fine using Geoff's plugin - just haven't listened enough).

 

I have to say it's a bit of a turnoff...

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

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I wouldn't say I spotted additional hiss (I haven't narrowed it down that much) but I would say that listening to TIDAL streams both over the TIDAL native app (ie TIDAL native app running on my music mini with the DAC selected as USB output) as well as over Roon (not that much testing here yet), I find the TIDAL music more "fuzzy" than my CD rips. There's a "solidity" on the rips played over Roon, A+, HQP, Amarra that is lacking in the TIDAL stream somehow. Hard to exactly pinpoint.

 

I have not had extensive experience with playing TIDAL streams over HQP (it works fine using Geoff's plugin - just haven't listened enough).

 

I have to say it's a bit of a turnoff...

 

 

Hello miguelito,

 

That's fair comment. I concur the SQ is "fuzzy" compared to CD rips and other input sources, e.g., downloads. The "hiss" I referred to is audible, and my system Dac/preamp/amp is "dead" silent. I don't hear the hiss otherwise, so JS-2/MMK/Regen are not contributors to a slight hissing sound. Perhaps, it's the nature of the Beast when streaming.

 

Thank you for making me aware of Geoff's plugin to accomodate TIDAL streaming, I was not aware of that possibility.

 

Hope you are acclimating your system to your new space and are enjoying your surroundings. I live in a very quiet neighborhood, and that alone, has its rewards except for a neighbor down the street who's a car enthusiast (smile).

 

Enjoy the music,

Richard

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